BAGHDAD -- Iraq's minister of higher education says a new initiative for Iraqi students and professors will see increased academic cooperation between his country and the United States.
Minister Abed Theyab says an agreement has been reached with Texas A&M University, North Carolina State University and Ohio State University for professor and student exchanges.
The initiative includes more money for Fulbright scholarships so that Iraqi students can study in the U.S.
Tayeb made the announcement at a joint press conference Thursday with the U.S. counselor for public affairs in Iraq, Adam Ereli.
Ereli says he hopes to attract more American universities to the effort over the next two years.
This announcement is seen as an effort to bridge stronger ties between Iraq with the West.
Texas A&M released their vision of the program below:
The "agreement" that has been reached is that all three institutions
have agreed to host members of a delegation of presidents of Iraqi
universities through a joint project with the National Association of
State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), of which Texas A&M
is a member, and the Department of State (DOS), through the DOS
International Visitor Leadership Program.
This is one step in a larger project, called the Iraq Education
Initiative, supported by the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Nuri K.
Al-Maliki, which will create a scholarship program for up to 10,000
Iraqi students to study in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom,
Australia, France and Germany.
The visit of the university presidents to all these nations is designed
to begin the dialogue about developing faculty and student projects and
exchanges. There will be three U.S. universities hosting Iraqi
university presidents, and Texas A&M is one of those institutions.